China's efforts to develop Fengyun meteorological satellites have made major strides over the past 50 years, with the polar and geostationary meteorological satellite series achieving continuously stable operation to persistently provide data and product services globally. By the end of 2023, 21 Chinese self-developed Fengyun meteorological satellites have been launched successfully. Nine of them are in operation at present, the data and products are widely applied to weather analysis, numerical weather forecasting and climate prediction, as well as environment and disaster monitoring.
At present, FY-3 LEO (Low Earth observation) meteorological satellites have realized early-morning, morning, afternoon, drifting four kinds of orbital observations to obtain global data eight times a day. The operational LEO satellites in orbit contain FY-3C since 2013, FY-3D since 2017 and FY-3E since 2021. FY-3G and FY-3F were launched in 2023.
FY-2 and FY-4 geostationary meteorological satellites are positioned over the Equator and can carry out continuous minute-scale high frequency observation of the fixed area covering one third of the Earth. The operational GEO (Geostationary) satellites in orbit contain FY-2G, FY-2H, FY-4A and FY-4B.
Among them, FY-4B and FY-3E have completed the on-orbit commission testing, and were operational service in June 2022. FY-3G and FY-3F are entering the in-orbit testing after their successful launch in 2023.
Fengyun meteorological satellites play important roles in the global space programs of World Meteorological Organization (WMO). National Satellite Meteorological Centre(NSMC) keeps close cooperation with WMO, CGMS, CEOS, GEO, APSCO and other international organizations and EUMETSAT, NOAA and other satellite providers on instrument development, remote sensing application, data exchange and applications related to weather monitoring and forecasting.
Meanwhile, CMA is deepening bilateral cooperation with international organizations and“Belt and Road”countries on Fengyun meteorological satellite application. Several online workshops were held to enhance remote sensing capabilities and data exchange. EUMETSAT and NSMC have built a long-term mechanism on remote sensing technologies. On 16 November 2021, A Global Space Weather Center was inaugurated. It is the first global center in China’s civil aviation meteorology field that is approved by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This center is the fourth global space weather center.
Since CMA introduced the Emergency Support Mechanism of Fengyun satellite (FY_ESM) in 2018, there are 32 countries registered for this mechanism by the Aug. 2023. FY-3D, FY-4A and FY-2H have officially become on-duty satellites of International Charter“Space and Major Disasters”. They have already provided relevant data service and monitoring service products for countries and territories like Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi. In recent years, as on-duty satellites of CHARTER, Fengyun satellites have played increasingly significant roles in global meteorological disaster readiness, and served“Belt and Road”construction.